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Collecting History through Ancient Coins

Holding an ancient coin is holding history in your hands. Some coins actually depict historical events. Many include the image of a historic king or emperor. Every ancient coin relates to the people and events of the time and place it was struck. Every ancient coin relates to an interesting historical story. The stories on this page are a primary source of our ancient coin obsession. We hope you enjoy them.

Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |27|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99312. Bronze AE 27, Mildenberg 132 (O10/R96); cf. Meshorer TJC 292a; BMC Palestine p. 312, 80; SNG ANS 572; Hendin 6464, gVF, green patina, earthen deposits, slightly off center, weight 8.558 g, maximum diameter 26.7 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon", seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $1000.00 (950.00)


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |21|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99307. Bronze AE 21, Mildenberg 112 (O10/R76); SNG ANS 570 - 572 (same dies); cf. BMC Palestine p. 307, 31; Sofaer 144; Meshorer TJC 292a; Hendin 6464, VF, dark green patina, earthen deposits, tight flan, small edge cracks, weight 7.709 g, maximum diameter 21.0 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon", seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $900.00 (855.00)


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |23|
In 134, the Romans captured Jerusalem. Simon bar Kokhba was killed in 135, at Betar, a fortress where he had taken refuge. Jerusalem, largely destroyed, was renamed Colonia Aelia Capitolina. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilt the legionary fortress in the city and constructed a Roman temple at Golgotha. An altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple in Jerusalem. Although, resistance continued in Galilee, the Jewish diaspora began as Emperor Hadrian barred Jews from Jerusalem and had survivors of the massacre dispersed across the Roman Empire. Many were sold into slavery. The Jews remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.

Obverse legend:      Reverse legend:
JD99309. Bronze AE 23, Mildenberg 31 (O2/R10); SNG ANS 580; BMC Palestine p. 3, 93; Meshorer TJC 297a; Sofaer p. 283, & pl. 236, 16; Hendin 6463 (S), VF, well centered on a tight flan, thin blue-green patina, earthen deposits on reverse, light marks, weight 6.840 g, maximum diameter 23.4 mm, die axis 0o, undated, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription counterclockwise from lower right: for the freedom of Jerusalem, upright palm branch within laurel wreath, wreath with four groups of three leaves on each side, a medallion at the top and ribbon ties at the bottom; reverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription counterclockwise from lower right: Shimon, kithara-lyre with a long soundbox, three strings, and horn-like protrusions; from a private collector in New Jersey; scarce; $900.00 (855.00)


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |25|
After the defeat of Bar Kochba rebellion, Judea would not be a center of Jewish religious, cultural, or political life again until the modern era, although Jews continued to sporadically populate it and important religious developments still took place there. Galilee became an important center of Rabbinic Judaism, where the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled in the 4th-5th centuries. In the aftermath of the defeat, the maintenance of Jewish settlement in Palestine became a major concern of the rabbinate. The Sages endeavored to halt Jewish dispersal, and even banned emigration from Palestine, branding those who settled outside its borders as idolaters.
JD99314. Bronze AE 25, Mildenberg 114 (O10/R78); SNG ANS 569 (same dies); cf. BMC Palestine p. 311, 70; Meshorer TJC 292; Sofaer 82; Hendin 6464, VF, green patina, light corrosion, light earthen deposits, weight 9.817 g, maximum diameter 25.1 mm, die axis 180o, year 3, 134 - 135 A.D.; obverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Shimon" (possibly due to die break, mem irregular with two horizontal parallel strokes), seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse paleo-Hebrew inscription: "for the freedom of Jerusalem", five-lobed vine-leaf with strongly accentuated ribs, hanging from curved branch, short tendril right; from a private collector in New Jersey; $900.00 (855.00)


Judaea, Bar Kochba Revolt, 132 - 135 A.D.

|Bar| |Kochba|, |Judaea,| |Bar| |Kochba| |Revolt,| |132| |-| |135| |A.D.||AE| |26|
The Bar Kokhba revolt, led by Simon bar Kokhba, was the last of the major JewishRoman wars. The Roman army suffered heavy losses. It took six full legions, auxiliaries, and elements from as many as six more legions three years to crush the revolt. The Romans annihilated much of the Judean population. In 134, the they captured Jerusalem and Simon bar Kokhba was killed in 135. Legio VI Ferrata rebuilt the legionary fortress in Jerusalem and constructed a Roman temple at Golgotha. An altar to Jupiter was erected on the site of the Temple. The Jewish diaspora began as Hadrian barred Jews from Jerusalem and had survivors of the massacre dispersed across the Roman Empire. Many were sold into slavery. The Jewish people remained scattered without a homeland for close to two millennia.
JD99313. Bronze AE 26, Mildenberg 62 (04/R26); BMC Palestine p. 309, 53 (same dies); cf. SNG ANS 538; Meshorer TJC 260a; Hendin 6436, aVF, well centered, dark green patina, earthen deposits, scratches, weight 9.586 g, maximum diameter 25.8 mm, die axis 180o, year 2, 133 - 134 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "SMA" (abbreviating Simon), seven branched palm tree with two bunches of dates; reverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: "Year 2 of the freedom of Israel", vine leaf on tendril; from a private collector in New Jersey; $800.00 (760.00)


Poseidonia, Lucania, Italy, 420 - 410 B.C.

|Italy|, |Poseidonia,| |Lucania,| |Italy,| |420| |-| |410| |B.C.||nomos|
Poseidonia was founded around the end of the 7th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Sybaris. In the fifth century B.C., Poseidonia was conquered by the Lucani. Archaeological evidence indicates Greek and Oscan cultures thrived together. In 273 B.C., after the Poseidonians had sided with Pyrrhus against Rome, Poseidonia was refounded as the Roman city of Paestum.
GS98741. Silver nomos, Noe Poseidoni 11 (O10/R11); SNG Lloyd 473 (same dies); SNG ANS 669; BMC Italy p. 269, 34; SNG Cop 1287 var. (Γ obv. lower left), VF, toning, flow lines, light marks, die wear, small die cracks, weight 7.723 g, maximum diameter 22.1 mm, die axis 180o, Poseidonia (Paestum, Italy) mint, 420 - 410 B.C.; obverse ΠOMEΣ (downward on right), Poseidon striding right, beardless, nude but for chlamys falling over his shoulders, extending his left arm before him, brandishing a trident overhead in right hand, no series letter, three row dot border; reverse bull standing left, ΠOΣEI∆A (retrograde) above, cockle shell below bull and above exergue line, exergue line comprised of a line a dots between two solid lines, all within a round incuse; ex Numismatic Fine Arts (Beverly Hills, CA); $600.00 (570.00)


Plotina, Augusta 105 - 129 A.D., Wife of Trajan, Ankyra in Abbaitis, Phrygia

|Other| |Phrygia|, |Plotina,| |Augusta| |105| |-| |129| |A.D.,| |Wife| |of| |Trajan,| |Ankyra| |in| |Abbaitis,| |Phrygia||AE| |21|
Ankyra, the chief city of the district Abbaitis in western Phrygia, should not be confused with Ankyra in Galatia, the modern capital of Turkey.

The image on the reverse resembles sculptures of Artemis, the Lady of Ephesus, including one at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and another at the Vatican. The Ionians worshiped Artemis as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian Cybele. Her cult image was adorned with multiple rounded breast like protuberances on her chest. They have been variously interpreted as accessory breasts, eggs, grapes, acorns, or even bull testes. Excavation at the site of the Artemision in 1987/8 found a multitude of tear-shaped amber beads that once adorned the ancient wooden xoanon.
Artemis
RP99610. Bronze AE 21, RPC Online III 2536 (6 spec.); BMC Phrygia p. 61, 21; Waddington 5638; SNG Cop -; SNGvA -; SNG Munchen -; SNG Tb -; SNG Leypold -, aF, green patina, closed flan crack, reverse scratches, scattered small shallow pitting, off center, weight 5.108 g, maximum diameter 21.4 mm, die axis 0o, Ankyra in Abbaitis (Ankara, Turkey) mint, 112 - Aug 117 A.D.; obverse ΠΛΩTEINA CEBACTH (from upper right), draped bust right, hair in plait behind; reverse ANKYPANΩN EΠI ΛOVKIOY (Ankyra, struck under magistrate Loikios), cult statue of Artemis standing facing, kalathos on head, arms extended with supports, flanked by two stags; very rare; $250.00 (237.50)


Salonina, Augusta, 254 - c. September 268 A.D., Cilicia, Tarsos

|Cilicia|, |Salonina,| |Augusta,| |254| |-| |c.| |September| |268| |A.D.,| |Cilicia,| |Tarsos||AE| |29|
The inscription A M K Γ Γ is a boast of this city, Πρωτη Mεγιστη Kαλλιστη, meaning First (A is the Greek number one), Greatest, and Most Beautiful of the three (Γ is the Greek number three) adjoining provinces (Cilicia, Isauria, Lycaonia). The final Γ (Γ is the Greek number three) indicates the city held three neokorie, temples dedicated to the imperial cult.
RP99408. Bronze AE 29, SNG BnF 1837; SNG Levante 1198; SNGvA 6082; BMC Lycaonia p. 230, 329, aVF, full flan, some reverse roughness, weight 15.837 g, maximum diameter 29.2 mm, die axis 0o, Tarsos (Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey) mint, obverse KOPNHΛIAN CAΛΩNINAN CE, draped (and cuirassed?) bust right, wearing stephane, crescent behind shoulders, all within wreath; reverse TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEΩC, Cybele seated right, wearing tall turreted crown (kalathos?), long scepter in left hand over left shoulder, drum on seat behind, two lions at her feet, A M / K - Γ / Γ across fields in two lines; ex Savoca Numismatik auction 118 (21 Nov 2021), lot 336; $180.00 (171.00)


The First Jewish Revolt, 66 - 70 A.D.

|First| |Jewish| |Revolt|, |The| |First| |Jewish| |Revolt,| |66| |-| |70| |A.D.||prutah|
On Kadman III 12, Meshorer TJC 196, mem has the form . On Kadman III 13, Meshorer TJC 196a, which is much more common, mem has the form .
JD99332. Bronze prutah, Kadman III 13; Meshorer TJC 196; Hendin 6389; SNG ANS 427; Sofaer pl. 222, 11, VF, dark patina, earthen deposits, light corrosion, flat sprue cut on edge, reverse beveled, weight 2.634 g, maximum diameter 17.2 mm, die axis 180o, Jerusalem mint, year 2, 67 - 68 A.D.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew: Year two, amphora with fluted body, narrow neck, broad rim, and two small curved handles; reverse Paleo-Hebrew: The freedom of Zion, vine leaf on small branch with tendril; from a private collector in New Jersey; $160.00 (152.00)


Judean Kingdom, Mattathias Antigonus (Mattatayah), 40 - 37 B.C.

|Mattathias| |Antigonus|, |Judean| |Kingdom,| |Mattathias| |Antigonus| |(Mattatayah),| |40| |-| |37| |B.C.||eight| |prutot|
Parthia took Judaea in 40 B.C. and made Mattathias Antigonus their vassal King. After Antigonus bit off his ears to render him ineligible for High Priest, Hyrcanus II was sent to Babylon in chains. Herod fled to Rome but returned with Roman support and took Jerusalem in 37 B.C. Dio Cassius says Antigonus was crucified but most accounts say he was beheaded.
JD98148. Bronze eight prutot, Meshorer TJC 36; Hendin 6197; Sofaer 418; BMC Palestine p. 212, 2; SNG ANS 183; SNG Cop 64; HGC 10 646 (S), aF, earthen deposits, weight 12.536 g, maximum diameter 22.8 mm, die axis 0o, Jerusalem mint, 40 - 37 B.C.; obverse Paleo-Hebrew inscription: Mattatayah the High Priest and Council of the Jews, around and between the horns of a double cornucopia; reverse BACIΛEΩC ANTIΓONOY (of King Antigonus), ivy wreath tied at the top with ribbons hanging down; from an Israeli collection; scarce; $150.00 (142.50)




  



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